How Ballroom and Latin Dancing Build Core Strength
The wide variety of ballroom and Latin dancing—waltz, Foxtrot, mambo, cha-cha, rumba, swing, salsa, etc.—showcases not only how the human body moves, but how dancing can command and reinforce strength. Ballroom and Latin dancing also promote longevity. When you look at the career span of a ballerina versus a ballroom dancer, the latter is significantly longer. In addition to enhanced posture and a full-body workout, dancing also promotes balance; something vital as people age.
While many benefits of dancing such as providing an emotional and mental release and improving social interactions are well-known, perhaps less known is how dancing can strengthen the core and increase the myriad benefits associated with this as well. The literature is rife with studies demonstrating that including core conditioning into dance training not only improves performance but also reduces injury risk.
Once the student learns basic steps, patterns, movements, and dance holds, s/he begins to reap the cardiovascular benefits and improved muscle control, both of which contribute to core strength. From a cardiovascular perspective, for those who rely on pedometers to keep track of daily steps, the constant movement associated with dance can easily surpass 10,000 steps in a fun evening of dancing.
Perhaps the most important core-strengthening aspect of ballroom and Latin dancing involves the muscle control and good posture required to actually dance with a partner. Thus, whereas one may be doing a simple basic Foxtrot pattern or box step, it is much more than maneuvering through the patterns. Instead, every muscle in the body is manipulated to get the desired result. Further, these muscles are working significantly harder than would be the case if one were simply going on a walk. Additionally, maintaining a proper partnering frame also engages the core.
Another important factor is that it is not simply the quick dances—swing, salsa, samba, etc.—that promote the most benefits. A perfectly danced waltz or Foxtrot can be as advantageous as faster tempo dances. Further, these smoother, slower dances are more physically exhausting because of the muscle control necessary to ensure proper technique. This higher level of control is particularly beneficial for promoting greater core strength.
For more information about the benefits of ballroom and Latin dancing or to inquire about our different lessons, please contact us.